A huge archive of original rock and roll art will be sold at Bonhams in New York on May 14. The comprehensive sale of iconic items includes three decades of paintings, original artwork, drawings, sketches and studies, original printing plates and poster sets, featuring legendary bands, concerts and events by the most influential artists in rock and roll art.
The collection is owned by fashion designer and musician, Peter Golding, who built it after picking up a poster from a protest concert in Hyde Park, London, in 1967, taking great care and enthusiasm amassing his extensive archive over the years.
Synonymous with stretch denim, Golding was part of the 1960s fashion movement and created the first “designer” jean in 1970, and then founded his renowned ACE boutique in London’s Kings Road in the mid 1970s-1980s with its celebrity clientele of stage, screen and rock and roll.
Artworks for famous bands and performers include: The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, The Cult, The Sex Pistols, U2, Kiss, The Who, Alice Cooper, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sly and the Family Stone, Ike and Tina Turner, Metallica and Guns and Roses.
Artworks by leading artists include: Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly, Victor Moscoso, Gary Grimshaw, Randy Tuten, David Singer, Dennis Larkins, Wes Wilson, Michael English and Nigel Waymouth.
Viewing/exhibition dates and cities are: Los Angeles, April 18-21; San Francisco, April 25-28; and New York, May 9-13.
Some of the sale's highlighted artists and pieces include:
The late Rick Griffin is revered as the grand master of this art form.
As psychedelic rock of the late 1960s became more intense, inspired by artists and bands like Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead, Griffin’s art for posters and album covers followed. Winged eyeballs and skulls amongst many images began to feature in his work, as he also continued his cartoon and illustration commissions for Surfer and Zap Comics.
Griffin said that he wanted his art to have the sort of heraldry found on family crests. It was for this reason that he continually used bold and powerful central imagery. Griffin’s most famous painting, "The Flying Eyeball" of his original poster BG105 is one of the main highlights in the sale. Estimated to fetch $250,000-350,000, the painting measures more than 6 feet high.
The Flying Eyeball poster originally commissioned for Bill Graham’s Filmore East 1968 concerts featuring Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Albert King has been a recurring icon and is considered one of the most perfectly executed works of psychedelic art created during the Fillmore era. Griffin was a unique talent in commercial art being both an excellent draftsman and an imaginative designer.
Other Griffin items in the auction (and estimated prices) include:
• Grateful Dead — A Quarter of Century, acrylic on canvas ($50,000-75,000)
• Grateful Dead — ‘Without A Net’ Tour, acrylic on canvas ($125,000-175,000)
• "Dylan and the Dead" hand-colored production print for Dylan and The Dead album cover from the live album of the tour, with multi-framing by Alton Kelley, ($3,000-$5,000)
• “Dylan Down in the Groove,” studies for Dylan album, large pencil sketch on tracing paper ($4,000-6,000)
Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley
Along with Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse with Alton Kelley were key figures in producing work for The Grateful Dead.